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UN experts say US travel ban – a ‘significant setback’ for those needing international protection

US citizens and residents protest the travel ban imposed on  seven muslim majority countries by President Donald Trump. US citizens and residents protest the travel ban imposed on seven muslim majority countries by President Donald Trump.
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 2, , CMC – A group of experts from the United Nations has expressed concern that the new executive order by United States President Donald Trump is in breach of the country’s human rights commitments.

“Such an order is clearly discriminatory based on one’s nationality and leads to increased stigmatization of Muslim communities,” said the UN Special Rapporteurs on migrants –  François Crépeau; on racisim –  Mutuma Ruteere; on  human rights and counter terrorism – Ben Emmerson; on torture –  Nils Melzer; and on freedom of religion –  Ahmed Shaheed.

in a statement issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

index“The US recent policy on immigration also risks people being returned, without proper individual assessments and asylum procedures, to places in which they risk being subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in direct contravention of international humanitarian and human rights laws which uphold the principle of non-refoulement,” they warned.

The Executive Order, signed by Trump on January 27, bars all nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – from entering the US for the next 90 days.

It also stops the entire US refugee programme for 120 days, indefinitely bans Syrian refugees, and halts the planned entry of more than 50,000 refugees in the US fiscal year 2017, which began in October 2016 and will end in September 2017.

Noting that “in the midst of the world’s greatest migration crisis since World War II, this is a significant setback for those who are obviously in need of international protection,” the rights experts stressed: “The US must live up to its international obligations and provide protection for those fleeing persecution and conflicts.”

“The US is also involved in conflicts such as those in Iraq and Syria and its responsibility must extend to offering refuge to those fleeing from the conflicts,” they added.

The Executive Order also applies to those who come from the countries listed – whether or not they have valid visa documents or are in transit.

It also affects those who have dual nationality, who either have a passport from one of those countries or are travelling from one of those countries.

“This is deeply troubling, and we are additionally concerned that such persons travelling to the US will be subject to detention for an undefined period of time and then ultimately deported,” the human rights experts said.

Earlier this week Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarkes warned that Trump’s order may extend to the Caribbean.

“I am concerned that he could expand that if we don’t organize and push back now,” Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, told an emergency meeting of the Muslim community in her Brooklyn, New York district Sunday night.

Last modified onThursday, 02 February 2017 08:02
  • Countries: Caribbean